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Continuity Cameo

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What happens when a cameo and either a Mythology Gag or Continuity Nod decide they love each other and have a baby.

A Continuity Cameo sticks a character from either earlier in the continuity or from another continuity (usually the manga, comic, original game, novel, etc.) in the work as a wink to the fans. Sometimes this is done as an apology to the fans for leaving their favorite character out or for not giving the character as much attention as before. For characters from another continuities, it can also act as a way of saying that they do exist in that particular universe even if they're not focused on. Most of the time you either have to know it's there or know what to look for, as they sometimes go by so fast that you'll literally miss them if you blink.

This trope is mostly used in Japanese Media and Western Comic Books, with their complex, multi-installment works and their often vast and overlapping continuities. This can have originally have been a Chekhov's Gunman that wasn't able to be followed through due to cancellation of the series or the result of an Aborted Arc.

Compare Adaptational Early Appearance (where a character who appears late in the original appears earlier in a cameo in the adaptation), Remake Cameo (where people involved with an original work make a cameo in its remake) and contrast Ascended Extra. See also Last Episode, New Character and Demoted to Extra. Canon Welding is where the cameo establishes two works as being in the same universe. A subtrope to The Cameo.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon Adventure: Anode/Cathode Tamer: Ryo Akiyama's appearances in the second Digimon Adventure film and Digimon Adventure 02 fall under this, although he becomes a full-fledged Canon Immigrant in Tamers. Particularly confusing to Western audiences, as the video games in which he stars were never released here.
    • Ryo is clearly an example of "don't think about it too much or you'll get a headache," 'cause he and his Digimon work under slightly different rules than the other Tamers, what with being from a completely different universe and all....
    • Another example would be the Autumn Leaf Fair in Frontier; the background characters are all Digimon that appeared in the first three series.
  • In the Air movie, Kano, Minagi and Michiru make cameos during the festival. They're the other heroines in the original game and anime series, but the movie is a Misuzu exclusive storyline.
  • Kareha's sister Tsubomi in SHUFFLE! shows up in the last episode. As an added joke, she's reading Asa's character novel.
  • Arika shows up very briefly at the very end of both the My-HiME anime series and manga, and Nina can be spotted sitting in the desk in front of Tate's in the classroom in episode 2. They're the main characters in the Elseworld (?)  sequel My-Otome.
  • In the Fate/stay night anime series, Zoken Matou shows up very briefly, and we just see the bottom half of his face. He is major character in a route the series doesn't follow.
  • Kirakisho's appearance at the very end of the second season of Rozen Maiden; the third season's in a different continuity.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch did this in reverse: When the anime came out and added Kura-chan, a new mascot character, the mangaka decided to put him in one panel as a nod.
  • The Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi manga character Ochi-san shows up very briefly in the last episode of the anime.
  • Beri Shirayuki makes an appearance in the last volume of the original Tokyo Mew Mew.
  • CLAMP loves to do this with their works using The Multiverse, but a few with the same characters also occur:
    • In ×××HOLiC Watanuki goes to the Legal Drug store and sees the two leads of that manga, and later the said two leads end up at the wish store in their own series as well.
      • He also finds Sakura' staff in Yuko's storeroom in the first volume of the story. Except it's less a continuity cameo and more of a massive Chekhov's Gun.
    • Fujimoto from Kobato. is also seen working at the Legal Drug store promoting cough medicine.
    • Though they aren't actually seen, Yuuko also mentions Subaru and Hokuto, characters from Tokyo Babylon and X/1999 and says that she's known them since they were children.
    • And in X/1999, older versions of Nokoru, Suoh and Akira, the three lead characters from CLAMP School Detectives, now run the CLAMP Campus.
  • Oddly enough, Rebuild of Evangelion has a Continuity Cameo in Kaworu, in that he appears to have full memory of the events of the original series.
  • Kaede, Satsuki and Aoi from the Shinji Ikari Raising Project video game make a cameo appearance in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse as nuns at Shinji's school.
  • In Love Hina, Naru's sister was originally made for the anime adaptation, but Ken Akamatsu loved the character so much that he included her in the manga in the final chapter... and then used her again in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, making many fans wonder if they're not both the same girl and if the two series have a shared continuity.
    • Negima! has a number of cameos from Love Hina. Motoko seems to appear in one of Setsuna's flashbacks, and Word of God confirmed that the inn the group stayed at during one of the Beach Episodes is the same as the one at which Naru and Keitaro stayed. Then there's the fact that Motoko and Setsuna are both practitioners of the same sword style...
      • In chapter 256 Motoko's family is mentioned by name, and one the techniques Motoko used in Love Hina seems to be somewhat plot-relevant in Negima!.
      • And Tsukuyomi uses the Hina Blade from Love Hina.
  • Ogiue appeared at the very end of the credits of the last episode of the first season of Genshiken — she wouldn't appear for real until the OVA.
  • Ittou Asanuma, a minor (but still important enough to know the Senshi's secret identities) recurring character from the Sailor Moon manga appears briefly in one episode of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars where he calls on Mamoru when he misses a get together of the members of a PC Network. When Mamoru doesn't appear to be home he leaves. We only know it's him because of the credits.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) includes a cameo shot of Ling Yao, a character from the manga (and later Brotherhood), as a state alchemist participating in the Ishvalan genocide. He also happens to be wearing sunglasses in the same style as Greed's, in reference to Ling becoming the second Greed.
    • And late in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, there's a shot of an elderly couple — the female looks exactly like old Dante from the first anime.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro had cameo shots of Ai and Miyasako Mutsuki with her grandfather. The credits also had shots of Shizuka Todoroki and Tateo Mochizuki.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In three of the anime movies, Brendan (the male playable character from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald) briefly shows up during the opening narration sequences, though never in-focus. Lucas, Todd Snap, and Ethan and Silver make appearances in these adaptations as well.
    • Outside of the movies, Isamu Akai (the other character based on Red, who is nicknamed Red), his obnoxious talking "Blockhead Clefairy", and Pikachu, stars of the Pocket Monsters gag manga makes a cameo in a movie the main cast goes out of their way to get to be shown to an out-of-the-way village (oddly enough, the manga then had a chapter about Clefairy making his first appearance in the anime).
    • Chapter 7 of The Electric Tale of Pikachu doesn't actually adapt any specific episode of the Pokémon: The Original Series, instead having a collection of cameos of characters and allusions to events from over half a dozen different episodes.
    • A separate character based on Ethan (Jimmy) gets his own episode however, appearing alongside Kris (Marina).
  • In Code Geass, the Lancelot powersuit from Alternate Continuity manga Suzaku of the Counterattack makes a brief appearance in one episode. Additionally, the Visual Novel spinoff Lost Colors has references to the Nintendo DS game and Nightmare of Nunnally, another of the manga. Not only that, Rai, the protagonist of Lost Colors, eventually makes a cameo in an episode of the second season.
  • Kaitou Kid starts making several appearances in Case Closed after Gosho's work on the earlier Magic Kaito series was halted. They're arguably in the exact same world, although Magic Kaito contained more supernatural situations.
  • Frederica Bernkastel from Umineko: When They Cry appeared at the end of Higurashi: When They Cry Kai. We also hear her voice at the end of each first season episode; She's the girl in the previews. Yes, that wasn't Rika grown up. But technically, Bernkastel is Rika, or at least, all of the dead Rikas combined in one entity.
    • Becomes pretty significant, considering the possible relationship between Miyoko Tanashi and Lambdadelta, as well as Bernkastel becoming a Fallen Hero.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Goku's father Bardock first appeared on a TV special, but Toriyama liked him so much he gave Bardock a small (two panels) appearance in the manga.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has an episode where female characters from various Studio Gainax productions ranging from Neon Genesis Evangelion and DieBuster to Mahoromatic can be seen as employees at a bathhouse the protagonists visit.
  • Several characters from Neon Genesis Evangelion cameo as toys in an episode of Hanamaru Kindergarten, another Studio Gainax TV series.
  • Akuma makes a "blink and you miss it" cameo appearance in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, where he can be seen during the Calcutta scene before the Dhalsim and Honda fight.
    • In the Street Fighter II V television series, Akuma can also be seen during various crowd scenes throughout the series.
    • A much less prominent example, the second version of the Street Fighter II V opening intro has Balrog wearing his boxing gear from the game (which he never does in the actual show), as well as a brief glimpses of T. Hawk getting hurricane kicked to the face by Ken. Apparently T. Hawk was supposed to be on the show alongside Dee-Jay, Blanka and E. Honda, but the anime was canceled before they could get to their episodes.
  • In Shin Getter Robo Vs Neo Getter Robo, Michiru Saotome, Genki Saotome and Benkei Kuruma all show up in the credits of the final episode (the Saotomes were absent throughout the series and Benkei never showed up due to Getter Robo G getting averted).
  • Probably the biggest one is in Mobile Fighter G Gundam, where virtually every major Mobile Suit of the Universal Century, as well as a number of non-Gundam mecha such as Heavy Metal L-Gaim and Zambot 3, show up to battle the Devil Gundam at the very end. Also important as there was the first appearance of a certain transforming, Buster Rifle-using Gundam.
  • The original Mobile Suit Gundam also makes a cameo near the end of Space Runaway Ideon, another series created by Yoshiyuki Tomino.
  • In the Fist of the North Star movie Legend of Kenshiro, the fifth installment of the Legends of the True Savior series, Ryuga and Juza are among the spirits of fallen warriors who are attending Kenshiro and Yuria's wedding. They were the only characters in that scene up to that point who were absent from the movies (although Ryuga technically did appear as a child in Legend of Yuria, as well as spirit in Legend of Raoh: Chapter of Fierce Fight).
  • Issac and Miria from Baccano! make a cameo in The Climax of Durarara!!. This could also be considered a Continuity Nod, seeing as the two series are set in the same universe.
  • In the anime version of the Loguetown arc in One Piece, Crescent Moon Galley, the villain from the first version of Romance Dawn, makes a minor appearance.
    • It doesn't exactly fit the description, but Vice Admiral Jonathan, the Worthy Adversary antagonist of the G-8 Arc, the most popular filler arc, makes a quick appearance during the marine forces' gathering just before Marineford.
  • Disregarding Plue, various Rave Master characters will pop up in crowd scenes in Fairy Tail.
  • Trigun Maximum had one scene early on in the 12th volume where Vash flashes back to everyone he's met in the past — including characters who had previously only appeared in the anime, such as Loose Ruth (a rogue bounty hunter from the first episode) and Marianne (an undercover agent Vash has a crush on in the anime's second episode)
  • Blue Exorcist: The Movie features a brief cameo from Renzo Shima's older brothers, Juzo and Kinzo, who were introduced in the Kyoto arc of the manga. (The anime's Gecko Ending split off before the series reached that point.)
  • The Stinger for Gravestone of Daisuke Jigen reveals that the owner of the club is none other than Mamo, establishing that the movie is not only a prequel to Lupin III: Part 1, but a Stealth Prequel to the first animated Lupin film.
  • In the penultimate chapter of the Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL manga, Astral summons a bunch of Numbers that before this have never appeared in the manga, but all had prominent positions in the anime.
  • While she really doesn't have much screen time, in Your Name, Mitsuha's literature teacher is Yukari from The Garden of Words, showing that she left Tokyo and went to Itomori after separating with Takao. This became somewhat Harsher in Hindsight as before Taki and Mitsuha rewrote the timeline, she is likely to be one of the casualties when the comet fragment hit and destroyed Itomori. Yukari is later shown briefly in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue near the end of the film where she is living in Tokyo again, hinting that she might be able to meet again with Takao.
  • The female Ritsuka Fujimaru appears in the background of Fate/Grand Order: First Order as one of the 48 potential Master candidates. That also means she's among the 47 who died compared to male Ritsuka, although we don't get to see her body.
  • Eiga Tamagotchi: Himitsu no Otodoke Dai Sakusen!: Several Tamagotchi characters from the 90's who never got an appearance in the 2000's/2010's anime films and series make cameo appearances at the end of the short.
  • Nota, Dororo and Hyakkimaru's Canine Companion from the 1969 anime adaptation of Dororo, briefly appears in the first episode of the 2019 anime.
  • Maka, Soul, and several other main characters from Soul Eater make cameo or supporting appearances in the spinoff Soul Eater Not!.
  • Episode 38 of Maho Girls Pretty Cure! features a cameo from Mepple and Mipple as statues on the news.

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    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Talia is present at Jason's resurrection. She briefly looks ready to shoot him when he goes crazy, but beyond that gets no lines or characterization.
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers opens with the trio being saved by the original musketeers, one of whom gives Mickey his hat and autographs it.
  • Pixar loves this trope. Outside of their love of Production Foreshadowing, there's a few other instances of these:
    • When Sulley and Boo return to her room at the end of Monsters, Inc., she has a toy Jessie.
    • The mobile home that Mike and Sulley send Randall to appeared in A Bug's Life.
    • At the end of Cars the characters watch scenes from several older Pixar movies (with the characters replaced with cars of course).
    • The Pizza Planet delivery truck appears in all of their films to date except The Incredibles. According to Pixar regular Lee Unkrich, there is actually no Pizza Planet in The Incredibles.
    • In the dentist's waiting room in Finding Nemo, you can see a Buzz Lightyear toy.
  • In the Discworld animated film The Amazing Maurice, during the flashback to the rats in the dump outside Unseen University, the wizard dropping off another load of magical waste is clearly Rincewind. He shows up again when Bad Blintz becomes a tourist town, with Twoflower taking his iconograph.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Johnny Fontane and (especially) Lucy Mancini in The Godfather. In the novel they both get big storylines, nearly the equal of the main storyline with Michael. In the film, Johnny has a very small part, and Lucy has basically one short scene confirming her as Sonny's mistress.
  • The X-Men Film Series feature these in spades with minor characters (some of whom are only identified in the credits).
    • Like with Beast making a hairless appearance in X2: X-Men United and three of the Stepford Cuckoos appearing in the background during the third movie.
    • The trucker who dropped Rogue off at Laughlin City was played by George Buza, who voiced Beast in the animated series.
    • Even more subtle than a brief cameo, in the second movie the real names of several mutants, including Gambit, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, were briefly seen on a computer screen as being some of the prisoners in a mutant prison. Only three, Gambit, Banshee and Quicksilver, wound up appearing later (or rather, earlier) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
    • The Sentinel in X-Men: The Last Stand. Or rather, its head.
    • In X-Men: First Class, Mystique tries to seduce Magneto. He tells her, "Maybe in a few years." She then shapeshifts to Rebecca Romijn, who plays her in the original trilogy.
    • The Wolverine:
      • Magneto and Xavier in the Stinger, which also shows an in-universe advertisement for Trask Industries for X-Men: Days of Future Past.
      • Also Wolverine's classic costume makes a brief appearance in the alternate ending. When Yukio and Logan board the plane, Yukio hands him a large flat box. He opens it to find himself staring at a familiar yellow face mask, with other spandex pieces. All he can do is give Yukio a "Really?" look.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • The films use Dr. Connors a.k.a. the Lizard as a minor character. He did not become a villain, and until the Continuity Reboot (where he was the main villain), never got do so. It's a shame, as the actor who originally played Doc Connors has said he'd really like to take on that role.
    • John Jameson, aka "Man-Wolf," is seen in Spider-Man 2.
  • There are lots of tiny ones in The Lord of the Rings films, some of which are blown up into full appearances in the extended versions.
    • For example, the innkeeper in Bree, Barliman Butterbur, appears in the first film but has only a few lines and does not perform the plot-critical functions he has in the book, most notably giving Frodo a letter from Gandalf. (Some additional scenes, including one referencing the letter, were filmed and then cut.)
  • In Batman & Robin, the man who turns Pamela Isley into Poison Ivy is Jason Woodrue, who in the comics is the Floronic Man, an enemy of the Atom.
  • Star Trek:
  • Troy features one that only Latin nerds are going to pick up on, in a nod to the Roman lovechild of The Iliad and The Odyssey: The Aeneid, which follows the Trojan survivors of the sack of Troy. At the end of the film, Paris hands off the sword of Troy to a young man who gives his name, when prompted, as "Aeneas". Paris tells him to find a new home for their people, which, presumably, film!Aeneas does, after seven years of gallivanting about.
  • The deleted opening of The Incredible Hulk (2008) has one by Captain America, teasing at Captain America: The First Avenger. Blink and you'll miss it. Pause it just right, and you might just make him out; but he is there, under the ice.
    • Later disproven when the Captain America movie reveals that Cap was locked in the ice... inside a huge airship, which the Hulk movie doesn't show. This doesn't mean that the Hulk movie wasn't teasing, only that in retrospect we are forced to assume that was some other guy frozen in the ice. Or rather, the event is canon but the visual isn't.
  • Speaking of Captain America: The First Avenger, there's a brief cameo where the Golden Age Human Torch can be seen at the science exhibit Steve and Bucky attend.
  • Land of the Dead has Blades from Dawn of the Dead (1978) reappearing when the zombies break into Fiddler's Green. Also it retroactively includes the main character from Survival of the Dead as one of the military guys at the checkpoint.
  • The third Silverwing book, Firewing, features small appearances by both Goth's former toady Throbb and by the former Silverwing colony elder Frieda, both of whom are dead at that point.
  • In the opening of Disney's Mary Poppins, Bert sings to Miss Lark with her dog Andrew, Mrs. Corry with her tall daughters, and Miss Persimmon. These are all supporting characters from the Mary Poppins books who were otherwise completely eliminated from the movie version.
  • The Duke brothers from the Eddie Murphy film Trading Places appear in another Murphy film, Coming to America, homeless and broke after their fall in the other film.
  • Lana Lang and Steve Lombard are in Man of Steel but have smaller roles than others of Superman's supporting cast.
  • The Phantom includes a number of passing references to continuity elements from the comics, including names on background signage and cameo characters (such as Corporal Weeks of the Jungle Patrol).
  • In Hellboy (2019), Rasputin, Kroenen, and Ilsa Haupstein from the comics appear in a flashback to Project Ragna Rok.

  • Noob had a few passing mentions of Dark Avenger and one of Précieux, both of whom are recurring characters in the original webseries but have yet to play any kind of role in the novels.
  • Wayward Children: While exploring Magical Lands in Lost In The Moment And Found, Antsy and Vineta visit the Moors and notice an odd pair of twin girls. The reader recognizes them as the major characters Jack and Jill; Vineta recognizes them as dangerous and hurries Antsy away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "Dragonfire", there's a brief cameo by an Argolin from The Leisure Hive, in the restaurant where Ace worked.
  • A regular occurrence on Power Rangers as a series after Mighty Morphin. There is almost always an episode that involves the show's starring team, needing to team-up with the previous series' team to take down a common enemy. For example, the In Space team had to team-up with the Lost Galaxy team.
  • In an episode of Ripping Yarns, Michael Palin's character storms out of his house in a black mood at the poor showing of his beloved football side. A passer-by watches, bemused. This unspoken cameo is very obviously John Cleese in 1930's clothing not a million miles away from his Gumby persona. All it needs is the knotted hanky and the rolled-up trouser legs... but the cloth cap screams Gumby.

    Multiple Media 
  • The Harry Potter movies also have some of these which are only identifiable through the credits. For example, a tall, prim-looking woman with a pointed hat appears in the background of several scenes in the second film. The credits reveal that she is Madam Pince, the Hogwarts librarian in the books. Likewise, Marietta Edgecombe isn't in the Order of the Phoenix movie and her role is transferred to Cho, but she is given a mention in the video game.


  • LEGO loves doing this. Just check out their animations and video games, and you will notice how frequently their Star Wars and Indiana Jones universes tend to collide. When talking strictly about the sets, fans are generally delighted to see older pieces reappear in other lines (usually in new colors or with new uses).

    Video Games 
  • Mega Man Battle Network sort of is this. Turns out, this series is pretty much the others as an RPG. All of the characters return.
    • Later on, they play it straight in the One Game for the Price of Two Battle Network 5: Team Colonel and Team Protoman. When the team leaders are brainwashed by the big bad, the leader of the other team shows up to save them. If Colonel is brainwashed, Protoman comes to save him, and vice versa. When asked if they would join the cause, they say they have more important things to attend to.
    • Also, scattered about the Battle Network series are references to the actual X and Legends series, not just the Alternate Continuity versions that show up as Net Navis. Servbot dolls, references to the Tron Bonne show, and badass posters of Vile and Zero at Hisgsby's shop are a few examples of this.
    • What's more, Shaun/Sean, who is a fairly important character in the games but was omitted from the Anime, is briefly seen in a crowd scene in the anime's movie.
  • In the PlayStation version of Mega Man X3, Volt Catfish's anime intro has a quick background cameo of Auto from the Classic series.
  • The Tales Series often insert quite a bit of Namco cameos and Continuity Nods. Probably the best part, however, is being able to battle the past heroes of the series, usually in the arena.
  • Epona, the merchant elf from Tears to Tiara shows up at one point in Tears to Tiara 2.
  • Final Fantasy started a tradition in Final Fantasy VIII of having Goldfish Poop Gang boss Gilgamesh (of Final Fantasy V fame) appearing in other games in the series. Because of how he arrives in the game's universe and how he departed the plot in Final Fantasy V, it can be safely assumed that he is the only cameo character that is canonically the same person. He even had some retcons in remakes to place him within Final Fantasy VI and the original Final Fantasy. In Final Fantasy IX, he goes by the name "Alleyway Jack" but eventually reveals Gilgamesh as his true name. His other appearances in the series imply that he is aware of the other games and their heroes and in Final Fantasy XII, he comes with a pair of boss fights and wields replicas the defining weapons of many main characters in the series. He also has a dog named Enkidu that shows up in some of his appearances, but not all of them. He is often searching for the sword Excalibur, but frequently confuses it with Excalipoor, and his attacks will often reflect this distinction - Excalibur is extremely powerful, whereas Excalipoor does 1HP of damage. His Summon in Dissidia Final Fantasy reflects this, in that his summon will either triple the caster's BP or reduce it to 1. Also when he makes a playable debut in 012, he's the only character who wasn't explicitly summoned by Chaos or Cosmos, and rather he stumbled into the world from the Rift. In Final Fantasy XIV, Gilgamesh makes a recurring appearance in a series of endgame sidequests starring Hildibrand Manderville, and is fought twice in the questline as a boss.
  • In Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Eric Sparrow, the primary villain of the Tony Hawk's Underground sub-series reappears (though just as "Eric") in the Pro story path as an antagonist.
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (the first game in the series released internationally), being a direct prequel to the previous game (the Japan-only Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade), features several cameos from that game, most notably Prince Zephiel, who grows up to be The Binding Blade's Big Bad. In fact, The Blazing Blade appears to end on a cliffhanger to players unaware that the scene depicting Zephiel's Start of Darkness was merely filling in the time gap between the two games.
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the Japanese games have continuity cameos for the anime characters Butler and Diane of the sixth movie, Hitomi (Rebecca) of the seventh movie, and Hiromi (Lizabeth) from the ninth movie. However, the game's translation team missed this, instead calling them Felix, Dana, Jamie, and Katelyn respectively.
  • Occasionally, Pokémon GO players will see a Meowth-shaped balloon overhead. Tap it, and the player can battle Jesse and James. They're every bit as hammy as one would expect, and also every bit as easy to beat.
  • The Mad Gear gang from Final Fight makes an appearance in Sodom's ending in the first Street Fighter Alpha, as well as spectators on the background of Guy's home stage in Alpha 2 and Alpha 3. Rolento and Cody, who only had cameos in the first and second Alpha games respectively, both became playable fighters in the succeeding installments.
    • A billboard promoting a wrestling match between Hugo (from 2nd Impact) and an unknown challenger can be seen on Cody's home stage in Alpha 3.
    • Balrog and Vega both appear in Sagat's endings in the first two Alpha games before they became playable characters in Alpha 3.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear: Ghost Babel is an alternate sequel to Metal Gear, and contains at least one main character based on a rejected concept for a main character in Metal Gear Solid, but Roy Campbell and Mei Ling both appear, and a reference is made to Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (which hadn't been released at that time), along with Big Boss, Gray Fox, and Meryl Silverburgh.
    • Teliko and Venus from the Metal Gear Ac!d duology both get small, story-irrelevant cameo roles as bonus recruitable characters in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. They are both explicitly identified in-game as aliens from another dimension.
    • Metal Gear Ac!d series:
      • Its game mechanics run on this. While the game takes place in a completely separate continuity with no canon characters other than Solid Snake making a direct appearance and even Big Boss and Outer Heaven conspicuously absent from the backstory, the Character cards are all direct references to other Metal Gear games. Each of these cards plays a small cutscene of the original character who inspired it and while some simply provide useful effects with a bit of flavour text, others allow the player to directly use that character's abilities (for instance, the Psycho Mantis card allows the player to mind control guards, the Fortune card makes all bullets miss you, The Fury and Fire Trooper cards are the characters' flamethrowers...).
      • Snake's friendship with Roy Campbell is mentioned in the opening cutscene as the reason Snake was selected for the mission.
      • In Ac!d 2, the Boss Rush mode allows the player to battle Liquid Snake, Revolver Ocelot, Vamp, Fortune, The Boss and The End in various permutations, as well as Teliko and a Palette Swap Venus. All use adaptations of their original fighting styles using the cards from the card system and are fought in new arenas resembling Shadow Moses Island, the Big Shell and Tselionyarsk (all with the original Alert music from these games).
      • Unlockable cutscenes from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater can be found in Ac!d 2.
  • The Breath of Fire series is rife with cameos from previous installments, usually from the former main party. In some cases, the translator misses them and changes their names, obscuring the connection.
  • In the intro to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the unnamed character who "saves" (they are essentially selling them into indentured servitude) the player character in the introduction matches the description (notably, he is the only character with red hair in the entire game) of the character Redrick from Roadside Picnic, one of the game's main influences.
  • Solatorobo features random cameos of Waffle Ryebread, Princess Terria, Cyan, and the Black Cats Gang from Tail Concerto, to which it is a Spiritual Successor. Mamoru and his father from Mamoru-kun also make appearances.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its update Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 feature cameos from numerous Marvel and Capcom characters in the in-game endings. Nick Fury shows up in Crimson Viper's ending as a nod to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, June Lin Milliam appears as a member of the new West Coast Avengers, Luke Cage and Batsu Ichimonji can be seen as part of the new Heroes For Hire, Black Panther pops up, etc.
  • In the Mystery Trackers series, at the end of the installment Raincliff, one of the Anti-Villain antagonists is invited to join the eponymous agency, and he does. Agent Brown has repeated cameos in the rest of the series, usually in the form of in-game videos instructing the player character in how to use a new piece of technology from the agency scientists. He also has a crossover cameo in Haunted Hotel: Eternity, which is the first indicator that both series exist in a Shared Universe. Agent Brown is eventually Promoted to Playable in the Crisis Crossover spinoff Detectives United.
  • In the ending of Super Robot Wars UX, elder god Kurou and Al-Azif show up to watch over their non elder god selves and talk about how they can leave Kuzaku to them (once again referencing Kishinhishou).
  • In Super Smash Flash 2:
  • After the introduction of Create-a-Character Mode in the Soul Series, this became a common occurrence:
    • Li Long and Hwang were main characters from Soul Edge that were eventually dropped in SoulCalibur and SoulCalibur II respectively, having been replaced by Maxi and Yun-seong. While they did make a pseudo-return in SoulCalibur III representing two of the generic but unique "Create-a-Character" styles (and were later upgraded to full characters in the Arcade Edition), both would revert back to this in subsequent games, appearing as simple "Create-a-Character" CPU opponents using Maxi and Yun's styles one can fight in the single player modes of SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny and SoulCalibur V.
    • Arthur, the British-born samurai once used to replace Mitsurugi in certain overseas versions of the SoulCalibur arcade, made a similar return to Hwang and Li Long in SoulCalibur III (although he didn't get into Arcade Edition), and would also appear as a "Create-a-Character" CPU opponent in later games.
    • Besides the three mentioned above, Broken Destiny included a number of Create-a-Character cameos from the backstory one can fight in "Quick Match". Some of these include Xianghua's father, Siegfried's friend Salia, Greed and Miser.
    • Kilik's master and Ditto Fighter Edge Master from SoulCalibur made an uncredited cameo in SoulCalibur III as a secret challenger entirely obscured by shadows (he appears as a sillhouette, basically) named "Shadow Master", meant to represent his Superpowered Evil Side as described in Kilik's prologue.
  • Strider:
    • Arana and Kubira, characters from the Strider manga, appear as generic enemy grunts in some stages from the NES Strider.
    • Officially, the large automatic weapon used by a few Russian soldiers in the original arcade Strider is meant to be a "Shadowtag Bullets", a weapon featured during the final chapters of the manga.
  • In Dragon Age II, there is a particularly funny one regarding a certain character from Dragon Age: Origins. The bartender at the Hanged Man tavern can make a comment about how in Ferelden, someone is killing pigeons, and wonders who would do such a thing. The answer, as players of the first game are likely to know, is Shale - the very popular bird-hating golem. Shale never shows up in the game, and is not mentioned again, but does appear briefly during the end credits.

    Visual Novels 
  • From the To Heart series:
    • In the final episode of To Heart: Remember My Memories, Sango Himeyuri from To Heart 2 makes a cameo by submitting what is presumably HMX-17 Ilfa's operating system to Nagase in person. Her sister Ruri Himeyuri calls her in the background, saying that they're gonna be late for a movie. The episode aired three days before the entire To Heart 2 franchise began with the release of the PS2 game.
    • Additionally, Konomi Yuzuhara, also from To Heart 2, makes a cameo in the sixth omake of Remember My Memories as Akari's opponent. The match results were never revealed though.
    • The To Heart 2 Gaiden Game Another Days returned the favor by sneaking Multi and Serio in a background (look on the left); apparently, by that time in the To Heart universe, their obsolescence reduced them to working at fast food restaurants.

  • In DHS Comix, in Random Encounter, various important characters in the world's history appear as portraits across Dhark's Hero School. This includes portraits of Lavendar, Deimi and Dyaris, as well as the founders of Dhark's, most notably being the painting of them in Mana's office.
    • Malo, Demi, and Carla from "Free Turn" briefly appear in Volume 35 of "Random Encounter" as attendants of the Monster Races. Miss E. also appears with a stall set up in the same volume.
    • Miss E. also appears briefly "Loose Change" during Silphy's explanation of Underground tattoos.
    • Daren Marks appears as a member of the convoy in "The Breaking" after his appearance in "Daisy", being a subsequent explanation to his absence in "Peony"

    Web Original 
  • Many characters were introduced in the novel adaptation of Noob, but didn't show up in the webseries version before the movie was made. Some of the characters that got their first live-action appearance in the movie had been mentioned by name in the webseries beforehand.
  • Pokémon Legends Neo: Ghetsis: One of Auburn's choices for a Starter Mon is Therpal, the Fire-type starter from Lockstin's Kaskade region videos.
  • Rocked has been known to include several cameos of other internet reviewers in his Regretting The Past series. Most of these reviewers also contribute to channel awesome. For example, The Nostalgia Critic makes cameos in the RTP on Nickelback's All The Right Reasons to force him to review the album's third track Photograph.
  • Why So Serious?:
    • A letter to The Gotham Times written by Edward Nashton (the civilian identity of the Riddler) shows up at one point.
    • Jim Corrigan and Peter Grogan (corrupt GCPD cops from the comics) are mentioned among those investigated for corruption.

    Western Animation 
  • The design for the businessmen from Adventure Time is very similar to a businessman costume that an adventurer wore in an episode of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Also, the adventurer costume that the businessman wore in the Flapjack episode greatly resembles Billy from Adventure Time if he were human. Considering Pendleton Ward storyboarded the Flapjack episode, it makes sense.
  • Several characters from Aladdin: The Series could be seen as guests at Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding in Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
  • The Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Day of the Dark Knight" begins with a prison break at Iron Heights; among the escapees are numerous Adam West Batman villains including King Tut, Egghead, the Bookworm and Louie the Lilac among others. In addition, the Clock King's face is revealed in the same episode to be modeled after Walter Slezak, his actor in the 1960's series.
    • King Tut actually shows up in a later Batman Cold Open so it changed him from this to the Canon Immigrant.
    • Several episodes feature a bar populated by D-list supervillains. It's almost impossible to name every baddie who makes an appearance there without consulting Wikipedia.
    • Flex Mentallo and Dorothy Spinner appear on circus posters in "The Last Patrol".
  • Beware the Batman featured an appearance by Michael Holt as a hostage and victim of Professor Pyg and Mister Toad. In the comics, he has a much larger role as the superhero Mister Terrific.
    • Despite the show not using many famous Batman villains, the Penguin makes a cameo in a wanted poster, as Harvey Dent and the Special Crimes Unit briefly speculate whether he's even human. Penguin is also mentioned in a newspaper headline and in a news ticker.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • In the first Justice League season finale "The Savage Time," young versions of Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon (making out), as well as Tim Drake and Cassandra Cain showed up in uncredited cameos in Batman's La Résistance in a dystopian timeline.
    • Puppy-Krypto in "Last Son of Krypton."
    • During the Green Lantern episode of Superman: The Animated Series featured Kyle Rayner as the Green Lantern, but Hal Jordan's name appearing on the side of an aircraft. In the same episode, Guy Gardner (the Green Lantern before John Stewart) cameos as a mugger that gets beaten up by Kyle.
    • Hal's actual appearance is also of this variety, replacing John Stewart for a couple minutes due to time travel-related ripple effects. He's up to speed as to what's going on, picks up where John left off, and John shows right back up.
    • In the Batman Beyond episode "Shriek", a "Wanted!" Poster for the Joker is seen hanging in the old abandoned Gotham City police station.
  • Duck Dodgers did a crossover with the characters of Green Lantern once. Several GL characters have significant roles (Sinestro, Hal Jordan, Katma Tui, Ch'p, Killowog), but the initial battle between the Corps and the robots also contains quite a few Blink-And-You'll-Miss-It appearances from characters only readers of the comics would recognize. Examples include Salaak, Boodika, Tomar Re, and Guy Gardner.
  • Craig Gerber created Sofia the First and Elena of Avalor . Gwen the inventor, a one-shot character from the former, makes a cameo appearance in the episode "Class Act" from the latter.
  • Fantastic Four: The Animated Series was also notable for the sheer number of superhero cameos, ranging from Rage and The Avengers to Scarlet Spider and the New Warriors.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes has a few:
    • Booster Gold and Skeets are cleaning the Superman Museum.
    • A dead ringer for Lobo gets his hoverbike stolen.
    • A whole mob of Superman's Phantom Zone villains shows up, but they don't say a word or even do anything but be mysterious and threatening. Though one of them (General Zod) threatens the Legionnaires trapped in the Zone, and he appears to share the same voice as the one in Drax's head.
    • Legionnaires that never get a speaking role still appear on viewscreens during member induction ceremonies or in the gigantic Season Finale battles.
  • In The Problem Solverz, the dog from the original Problem Solvers YouTube videos makes background appearances in some episodes.
  • In the American Street Fighter animated series, the new characters from the first Street Fighter Alpha game appears as participants in an underground fighting tournament (namely Adon, Birdie, Guy, Sodom, Rose and a weird rendition of Dan in his Player 2 colors) in the episode "The Medium is the Message". Everyone except Dan and Adon went on to have focus episodes in Season 2. Notably absent in the tournament was Charlie. This is because the cartoon followed the decision of making Blanka and Charlie into the same character and instead he gets a flashback of when he used to be Charlie (wearing the same clothes as his Alpha self) before mutating into Blanka.
    • In the same episode, the cast of Final Fight can be seen among the crowd, including Carlos and Maki from the SNES sequel. Final Fight would get its own episode in Season 2.
    • In "Keeping the Peace", Guile's opponent in the first scene is Bred, also from Final Fight.
  • In Teen Titans (2003) the fifth season basically made up of these, especially towards the end with people like Argent, Jericho, and even two instances of Wonder Girl making an appearance.
  • In ThunderCats (2011), there are a few cameos from the original.
    • Fans will immediately recognize Lynx-O as the tower sentry who alerts Thundera to the Lizard invasion force.
    • In "Legacy", SilverHawks Big Bad Mon*Star and a race of TigerSharks appear in flashback, as a form of Canon Welding.
    • One of the background figures in the town during "The Duelist and the Drifter" wears a samurai helmet, as a nod to the original series' Hachiman. Whether it is Hachiman is a coin toss.
    • Arguably the most recognizable example: Lion-O's father, King Claudius, is voiced by the same voice actor who voiced the original Lion-O from the '80s.
  • Transformers:
    • The Three-Episode Premiere of Transformers: Animated has Spike, Carly, and Daniel — that is, the original human protagonist from Generation 1, his love interest, and their son — as prominent background characters. They all show up again later with speaking roles, albeit the parents separately from Daniel.
      • Then you see Sparkplug, Spike's dad, working on a construction site with the trademark hardhat on two separate occasions.
      • One Whole Episode Flashback showed Sentinel talking to red bot that looks a lot like (and Derrick Wyatt has confirm is supposed to be) Cliffjumper. They have stated that he was originally that one that Shockwave would frame for being a spy, but Executive Meddling ruled against it. He actually reappears later as a Recurring Character in season three, and even speaks!
      • We also see Mainframe operating a computer in a scene during the season three premiere. Like the Action Master he's based on, he doesn't transform.
      • A rather large example are the bust of the Cyber-Ninja Corps that appear in "Five Servos of Doom", which includes so many that Derrick Wyatt had to say what half of them were on Twitter (details on this page).
      • Yet another example: In "Human Error, Part 1" we see Cancer and Hydra from Transformers: Super-God Masterforce sitting at a table with series story editor Marty Isenberg.
      • The ultimate fate of Blackarachnia and Waspinator? Transwarped to a primitive world, where the first things they meet are a gorilla, a cheetah, a rhino, and an oversized rat. Hmmm...
      • It's bigger than all of that: every single Transformer seen in the series (including crowd-scene extras and portraits on the menu at restaurants) is a version of a character from a previous franchise, including production glitches and Brazil-only knockoffs; see the Transformers wiki for details. Heck, the producers have even said that one of the humans' limos was actually a character from Go-Bots.
  • Transformers: Prime: Impactor, Roadbuster, Rotorstorm, and Pyro are briefly referred to as (deceased) Wreckers.
  • Ankama does this to the point of notoriety in Wakfu, an animation taking place in the same universe as the MMORPG of the same name and its predecessor, Dofus. Many characters and creatures from the Dofus game and comics make appearances, be them as background flavour or as full secondary characters.
  • The second season finale of W.I.T.C.H. had a scene where it shows a man in a car named Scylla looking at the "cartoon" the finale battle looked like to everyone, and the last scene was the girls being introduced to him as their new teacher. This was originally supposed to be a Chekhov's Gunman as he was a character from the next arc of the comics, but was reduced to this as the animated series wasn't renewed for another season.
  • X-Men: The Animated Series:
  • Young Justice (2010) is full of these. Various DC heroes like Magog, Stephanie Brown, and Blue Devil make cameo appearances throughout the show, and a few of these (Barbara Gordon, Bumblebee, and Mal Duncan) ended up becoming cases of Chekhov's Gunman and Early-Bird Cameos.
    • In this version, Beast Boy's birth mom, Marie Logan, is a former actress, making her a Composite Character with Rita Farr from the comics; however, Rita herself is briefly referenced as Marie's old co-star.


Video Example(s):


Twilight Sparkle

When the Mane Five come together in front of the Unity Crystals, their magic merges with the crystals to reveal a message from Twilight Sparkle, the legendary Princess of Friendship from the previous generation of the My Little Pony franchise.

How well does it match the trope?

4.27 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / GreaterScopeParagon

Media sources: